REUTERS/Soren Andersson (SWEDEN SPORT TENNIS) via Daylife
Marcos Baghdatis won his first ATP title since 2007 on Sunday beating fellow un-seeded player, Olivier Rochus at the Stockholm Open: 6-1, 7-5. To be fair to Olivier, the diminutive Belgian played a three set semifinal on Saturday against Thomaz Bellucci while Marcos got a walkover from Robing Soderling. But a win’s a win, and Marco’s third career ATP title is sure to give him some much-needed confidence going into next season.
The 2006 Australian Open finalist has been slumping hard for the last couple seasons, due to everything from injury to “personal problems” to a reputed lack of motivation. He’s been bumping around the Challenger circuit for a while, winning three such titles this year, including one in Tashkent last week. Now ranked No. 66 in the world and still only 24 years old, Baghdatis may still have a bright future in front of him, but there’s plenty of hard work to do before he’s back into the top 10, where he stayed for 13 weeks in 2006.
Perhaps this fall from grace has renewed Baghdatis’s work ethic a little bit:
“I’ll work hard in the off-season so I can start the year strong next year and try and be more consistent and play a full year. It’s been a tough last two weeks for me – I’ve played 10 matches and won all all of them so of course I am a bit tired now. I’m going to rest for a few days before playing my last tournament, a Challenger in South Korea.”
Marcos on his (non)goals for next season:
“No limits. I don’t want to put any limits. I don’t want to put any goals. I want to go out there and win every match I play and try to be more consistent than before.”
Let’s hope the charismatic Cypriot makes his comeback stick.
Also back from a relatively so-so year is Mikhail Youzhny, who made it to the finals of Tokyo a couple weeks ago and won the title this weekend at the Kremlin Cup. He beat Janko Tisparevic – who was (somewhat surprisingly) playing in his first-ever ATP tour final – in three sets: 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-4.
On the ladies’ side in Moscow, Francesca Schiavone won the second WTA tour title of her career, beating unseeded Olga Govortsova: 6-3, 6-0. This improves the Italian’s dismal win-loss record in finals to 2-10. Ouch!
The all-Russian pairing of Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova took the doubles title in Moscow.
REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet (LUXEMBOURG SPORT TENNIS) via Daylife
In Luxembourg, Timea Bacsinszky, a 20 year old from Switzerland, could teach Francesca a thing or two about playing in finals. The first-time WTA tour finalist took out the No. 6 seed, Sabine Lisicki for the title: 6-2, 7-5. Of course sometimes the first time is the easiest:
“I’m really happy with the way everything went today. I played in a smart way and just went for it. I wasn’t nervous at all. It’s great to win my first title. I don’t think I’ve realized what it means for me yet.” (via Miami Herald)
This coming week, the WTA plays the tour ending championships in Doha. The ATP soldiers on, with 250-level tournaments in St. Petersburg (Safin, Youzhny, Gasquet), Lyon (Tsonga, Simon) and Vienna (Cilic, Monfils, Stepanek) this week.
Alas, we have to wait another week until Roger Federer makes his comeback in Basel (I was thinking/hoping it was this week, for some reason.) The field in Basel is looking really good – Juan Martin del Potro and Novak Djokovic will be there. Can’t wait!